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Why does God speaks of being Jealous?  Can it be sinful? or correction, it could never be sinful?

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Satan is constantly working through his agents to dishearten and destroy those whom God has chosen to accomplish a great and good work. They may be ready to sacrifice even their own life for the advancement of the cause of Christ, yet the great deceiver will suggest doubts, distrust, jealousy, concerning them, that if entertained will undermine confidence in their integrity of character, and thus cripple their usefulness. Too often he succeeds in working through their own brethren, to bring upon them such sorrow and anguish of heart that God graciously interposes to give his persecuted servants rest. After the hands are folded upon the pulseless breast, after the voice of warning and encouragement is silent, then death may accomplish that which life has failed to do; then the obdurate may be aroused to see and prize the blessings they have cast from them.

The great work for us as Christians is not to criticise the character and motives of others, but to closely examine our own heart and life, to jealously guard ourselves against the suggestions of Satan. We should bear in mind that it is not the hearers of the law that are justified before God, but the doers of the law. If the principles of God’s law rule in our hearts, we shall have the spirit of Christ; we shall manifest in our daily life that mercy which is better than sacrifice. Every Christian must be a learner in the school of Christ; and there is need of diligent and persevering effort to reach that standard of righteousness which God’s word requires.
Every one has a work to do to learn the lessons of justice, humility, patience, purity, and love. These traits of character are more precious in the sight of our Lord than offerings of gold or silver. They are more acceptable to him than the most costly sacrifice.

There is the same dislike of reproof and correction among the professed people of God today as in the days of our Saviour. There is the same disposition to lean toward the world and to follow its mocking shadows. The presence of ambitious, selfish, time-serving members is imperiling the church, whose greatest danger is from worldly conformity. Such members are constantly exerting an influence to unite the church more closely with the world. They are doing the work of Satan. When God sends his servants with words of warning or counsel, these traitors to their holy trust reject the Heaven-sent message, and thus not only slight the grace of Christ themselves, but lead others also to smother their convictions and lose the proffered blessing.

By resistance to the truth, the hearts of such are settling down into the fatal hardness of confirmed impenitence. They are deceiving themselves, and deceiving others. They are Christians by profession; they pay outward homage to Christ; they unite in the services of the sanctuary; and yet the heart, whose loyalty alone Jesus prizes, is estranged from him. They have a name to live, but are dead. They are left to the darkness they have chosen,—the blackness of eternal night.

It is a fearful thing for those who profess to be children of God, to cross the line of demarkation
that should separate the church from the world. Such are Satan’s most effective agents. He works through them with decision, zeal, and persistency, to devise and execute such enormities against those who are true to God, as the common sinner would seem incapable of. The very light they have slighted makes their darkness tenfold greater than it otherwise would be. When men refuse to accept the light which God in mercy sends them, they know not where they are going. They take only one step at a time away from the right path; but these successive steps lead directly to perdition. They place themselves on Satan’s ground, and his spirit controls them. They cannot perceive the great change in themselves. None are transformed at once; but they enter Satan’s school instead of the school of Christ, and the great deceiver educates them to do his work.As an educator no part of the Bible is of greater value than are its biographies. These biographies differ from all others in that they are absolutely true to life. It is impossible for any finite mind to interpret rightly, in all things, the workings of another. None but He who reads the heart, who discerns the secret springs of motive and action, can with absolute truth delineate character, or give a faithful picture of a human life. In God's word alone is found such delineation.

No truth does the Bible more clearly teach than that what we do is the result of what we are. To a great degree the experiences of life are the fruition of our own thoughts and deeds.

"The curse causeless shall not come." Proverbs 26:2.

"Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him. . . . Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him." Isaiah 3: 10, 11.

"Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts." Jeremiah 6:19.

Terrible is this truth, and deeply should it be impressed. Every deed reacts upon the doer. Never a human being but may recognize, in the evils that curse his life, fruitage of his own sowing. Yet even thus we are not without hope.

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To gain the birthright that was his already by God's promise, Jacob resorted to fraud, and he reaped the harvest in his brother's hatred. Through twenty years of exile he was himself wronged and defrauded, and was at last forced to find safety in flight; and he reaped a second harvest, as the evils of his own character were seen to crop out in his sons--all but too true a picture of the retributions of human life.

But God says: "I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before Me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid Me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. . . . Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him." Isaiah 57:16-19.

Jacob in his distress was not overwhelmed. He had repented, he had endeavored to atone for the wrong to his brother. And when threatened with death through the wrath of Esau, he sought help from God. "Yea, he had power over the Angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication." "And He blessed him there." Hosea 12:4; Genesis 32:29. In the power of His might the forgiven one stood up, no longer the supplanter, but a prince with God. He had gained not merely deliverance from his outraged brother, but deliverance from himself. The power of evil in his own nature was broken; his character was transformed.

At eventide there was light. Jacob, reviewing his life-history, recognized the sustaining power of God--"the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil." Genesis 48: 15, 16.

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The same experience is repeated in the history of Jacob's sons--sin working retribution, and repentance bearing fruit of righteousness unto life.

God does not annul His laws. He does not work contrary to them. The work of sin He does not undo. But He transforms. Through His grace the curse works out blessing.

Of the sons of Jacob, Levi was one of the most cruel and vindictive, one of the two most guilty in the treacherous murder of the Shechemites. Levi's characteristics, reflected in his descendants, incurred for them the decree from God, "I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." Genesis 49:7. But repentance wrought reformation; and by their faithfulness to God amidst the apostasy of the other tribes, the curse was transformed into a token of highest honor.

"The Lord separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name." "My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Me, and was afraid before My name. . . . He walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity." Deuteronomy 10:8; Malachi 2:5, 6.

The appointed ministers of the sanctuary, the Levites received no landed inheritance; they dwelt together in cities set apart for their use, and received their support from the tithes and the gifts and offerings devoted to God's service. They were the teachers of the people, guests at all their festivities, and everywhere honored as servants and representatives of God. To the whole nation was given the command: "Take heed to thyself that

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thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth." "Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the Lord is his inheritance." Deuteronomy 12: 19; 10:9.

By Faith to Conquest
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The truth that as a man "thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7), finds another illustration in Israel's experience. On the borders of Canaan the spies, returned from searching the country, made their report. The beauty and fruitfulness of the land were lost sight of through fear of the difficulties in the way of its occupation. The cities walled up to heaven, the giant warriors, the iron chariots, daunted their faith. Leaving God out of the question, the multitude echoed the decision of the unbelieving spies, "We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we." Numbers 13:31. Their words proved true. They were not able to go up, and they wore out their lives in the desert.

Two, however, of the twelve who had viewed the land, reasoned otherwise. "We are well able to overcome it" (Numbers 13:30), they urged, counting God's promise superior to giants, walled cities, or chariots of iron. For them their word was true. Though they shared with their brethren the forty years' wandering, Caleb and Joshua entered the Land of Promise. As courageous of heart as when with the hosts of the Lord he set out from Egypt, Caleb asked for and received as his portion the stronghold of the giants. In God's strength he drove out the Canaanites. The vineyards and olive groves where his feet had trodden became his possession. Though the cowards and rebels perished in the wilderness, the men of faith ate of the grapes of Eschol.

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No truth does the Bible set forth in clearer light than the peril of even one departure from the right--peril both to the wrongdoer and to all whom his influence shall reach. Example has wonderful power; and when cast on the side of the evil tendencies of our nature, it becomes well-nigh irresistible.

The strongest bulwark of vice in our world is not the iniquitous life of the abandoned sinner or the degraded outcast; it is that life which otherwise appears virtuous, honorable, and noble, but in which one sin is fostered, one vice indulged. To the soul that is struggling in secret against some giant temptation, trembling upon the very verge of the precipice, such an example is one of the most powerful enticements to sin. He who, endowed with high conceptions of life and truth and honor, does yet willfully transgress one precept of God's holy law, has perverted his noble gifts into a lure to sin. Genius, talent, sympathy, even generous and kindly deeds, may thus become decoys of Satan to entice souls over the precipice of ruin.

This is why God has given so many examples showing the results of even one wrong act. From the sad story of that one sin which "brought death into the world and all our woe, with loss of Eden," to the record of him who for thirty pieces of silver sold the Lord of glory, Bible biography abounds in these examples, set up as beacons of warning at the byways leading from the path of life.

There is warning also in noting the results that have followed upon even once yielding to human weakness and error, the fruit of the letting go of faith.

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Holy jealousy means that one is appropriately possessive of something that belongs to him or her. For example, I am not willing to share my husband's heart or body with any other woman because he is mine. I'm happy to share his gifts and energies with the body of Christ and the larger world, and I even love to see that happen, but I want his heart and soul to be exclusively mine. That is a kind of holy and entirely appropriate jealousy.

Sinful jealousy is the desire to have something that doesn't belong to us; another word is envy. When we want something God has not given to us, such as other people's fame, or material goods, or a job, or favor, or a spouse, that is a sin. Sometimes we see this in a jealous person who wants all the attentions of their loved one to be directed to themselves. I have seen people who fly into a rage when they learn that their spouse or significant other has talked on the phone with anyone, or had any kind of conversation with a third person. Such a jealous person desires to have a level of exclusivity that doesn't belong to them.

God exhibits holy jealousy because our love and adoration rightfully belong to Him; He is jealous with a holy jealousy when we love and worship false gods in idolatry. His kind of jealousy is not sinful because we belong to Him and He created our hearts to belong to Him as well.

Oh, that the Lord would give us to feel as we have never felt before. If you knew that you had but one more hour of probation, you would change your course. You would not dare to stand in the position you are in today. If you knew that probation would close in one year, you would not continue the course you are now pursuing, and yet you do not know that you will live one day longer. You have not one day to call your own. We know not how soon death may be feeling for the heart-strings of any one of us. We know not how soon the axe may be laid at the root of the tree, and the sentence go forth, “Cut it down. Why cumbereth it the ground?” Will you pass on in your sinful state, with envy and jealousy and hatred in your heart? While you do this, you are no more fit for heaven than Satan himself.

If you think you can lay down the oars, and still make your way up stream, you are mistaken. It is only by earnest effort, by using the oars with all your might, that you can stem the current. How many there are as weak as water, when they have a never-failing Source of strength. Heaven is ready to impart to us, that we may be mighty in God, and attain the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.

But who of you in the past year has been making progress in the way of holiness? What increase of spiritual power have you gained? Who has come off conqueror over the foe? Who has been enabled to gain one precious attainment after another, until envy, pride, malice, jealousy, and every evil stain, has been swept away, and only the graces of the Spirit remain—meekness, forbearance, gentleness, charity?

God will help us if we take hold of the help He has provided. “Let him take hold of My strength,” He says, “that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me” [Isaiah 27:5]. This is a blessed promise. Many times, when I have been discouraged and almost in despair, I have come to the Lord with this promise, and said, “Let me take hold of Thy strength, that I may make peace with Thee; and I shall make peace with Thee.” And as I have laid hold of the strength of God, I have found a peace which passeth understanding.

I know that the words I speak to you are truth, and that you need them. Oh, that you would arouse, and wrench yourself from the grasp of the enemy, that you would engage in the battle of life in earnest, putting on every piece of the armor, that you may war successfully against the wily foe. Satan is already weaving his net about
you, and ensnaring your soul. He does not wait for his prey to be brought to him. He goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. But does he always roar? No; when it serves his purpose best, he sinks his voice to the softest whisper, and, wrapped in garments of light, appears as an angel from heaven. Men have so little knowledge of his wiles, so little understanding of the mystery of iniquity, that the enemy out-generals them almost every time.

Many who have lived under the blazing light of truth act as though they had nothing to do. They watch another playing the game of life for the soul, and stand by as though they had nothing to do but watch how the game is carried on. God calls upon every one of you to take up life’s burdens, and engage in the warfare as you have never done before.

You who are gossipers, who love to speak of the faults of this one and that one, arouse, I beg of you, and look into your own hearts. Take your Bibles, and go to God in earnest prayer. Ask Him to teach you to know your own heart, to understand your weakness, your sins and follies, in the light of eternity. Ask Him to show you yourself as you stand in the sight of heaven. This is the prayer we should offer.

I would close up my instruments of music, and bowing before God, plead with Him as I had never pled before. In humility send your petition to heaven, and do not rest day or night until you can say, Hear what the Lord has done for me; until you can bear a living testimony, and tell of victories won. This is the time to sing the songs of Zion.

Jacob wrestled with the angel all night before he gained the victory. When morning broke the angel said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. But Jacob answered, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” [Genesis 32:26]. Then his prayer was answered. “Thy name shall be no more Jacob,” said the angel, “but Israel; for as a Prince hast thou power with God, and hast prevailed” [verse 28].

We need the determined perseverance of Jacob, and the unyielding faith of Elijah. Time after time Elijah sent his servant to see if the cloud was rising, but no cloud was to be seen. At last, after seven times, the servant returned with the word, “I see a little cloud, as large as a man’s hand.” Did Elijah stand back and say, “I will not receive this evidence. I will wait until the heavens gather blackness”? No. He said, It is time for us to be going. He ventured all upon that token from God, and sent his messenger before him to tell Ahab that there was the sound of abundance of rain.

It is such faith as this that we want, faith that will take hold, and will not let go. Inspiration tells us that Elijah was a man subject to like
passions as we are. Heaven heard his prayer. He prayed that rain might cease, and there was no rain. Again he prayed for rain, and the rain was sent. And why should not the Lord be entreated in behalf of His people today?

Oh, that the Lord would imbue us with His Spirit. Oh, that the curtain might be rolled back, and we be made to understand the mystery of godliness. I long for God. I hunger and thirst after righteousness. As the hart pants for the water brooks, my soul pants after God. I plead with Him for His people that He may send upon us the showers of His grace.

But this is an individual work. Every man is to build over against his own house. Do not think of any one’s faults but your own. Oh, consider this, for here eternal interests are involved. You have nothing to do with the sins of others, but you have much to do with yourself. Act as though there was not another being in the universe but yourself and a pure and holy God.

All who profess to be children of God should be missionaries. You ought to be working in the Master’s vineyard. To one is committed five talents, to another two, and to another one. And everyone is accountable to God for these gifts. Your talents are committed to you to be improved, and unless you trade upon these talents, unless you are faithful to your trust, your fate will be similar to that of the man who hid his Lord’s money in the earth.

“I knew thee that thou art a hard man,” said the unprofitable servant, “reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine” [Matthew 25:24, 25]. The sentence passed upon him was, “Take ye the unprofitable servant, and bind him hand and foot, and cast him into outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [See verses 29, 30.] This will be the portion of many professing Christians at the present day unless they arouse and work mightily to redeem the time.

God calls upon you to put all your strength into the work. You will have to render an account for the good you might have done had you been standing in a right position, but which you have failed to do. Oh, that you might see that it is time you were co-workers with Christ and the heavenly angels.

Will you awake? There are souls in your midst who are in need of help. Have you felt a burden of soul to bring them to the cross? Bear in mind that just that degree of love you have for God you will reveal for your brethren, and for sinners who are lost and undone and out of Christ.—Ms. 1, 1869.
Delight to Do God's Will

Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Prov. 29:18

To those who love God it will be the highest delight to keep His commandments and to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. . . .

Says the psalmist, "The law of the Lord is perfect." How wonderful in its simplicity, its comprehensiveness and perfection, is the law of Jehovah! It is so brief that we can easily commit every precept to memory, and yet so far-reaching as to express the whole will of God and to take cognizance, not only of the outward actions, but of the thoughts and intents, the desires and emotions, of the heart. Human laws cannot do this, They can deal with the outward actions only. . . . The law of God takes note of the jealousy, envy, hatred, malignity, revenge, lust, and ambition that surge through the soul, but have not found expression in the outward action; . . . and these sinful emotions will be brought into account in the day when "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." . . .

There is no mystery in the law of God. All can comprehend the great truths which it embodies. The feeblest intellect can grasp these rules. . . .

Obedience to the law is essential, not only to our salvation, but to our own happiness and the happiness of all with whom we are connected.

Man's happiness must always be guarded by the law of God. . . . The law is the hedge which God has placed about His vineyard. By it those who obey are protected from evil.

We owe to Him all that makes life desirable, and He asks of us the affections of the heart and the obedience of the life. His precepts, if obeyed, will bring happiness into the home life, happiness to every individual.
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Rightdoing will bring peace and holy joy.
From My Life Today - Page 168

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